Apple has spoken up about the European Union investigation into its Irish tax affairs, telling a panel of E.U. investigators that it pays “every cent of tax” it owes in the country, and that it gets no advantage whatsoever compared with other companies.
“We don’t feel that there has been state aid involved and I suppose we look forward to that outcome happening at the end of the day and being vindicated in that way,” Cathy Kearney, a vice-president Apple’s European operations told the panel.
The E.U. has been targeting multinationals recently in an effort to get them to pay more tax. Both Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have already been ordered to pay as much as 30 million euros ($33.3 million) in back taxes. If found guilty of illegal tax deals, Apple could be made to pay significantly more than this.
Apple has always argued that it pays the proper amount of tax. During last year’s “Inside Apple” episode of 60 Minutes, Tim Cook labelled reports that Apple doesn’t pay its taxes as, “total political crap,” while Apple’s Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri has said that, “if there is a fair outcome of the [European Commission] investigation, [Apple should pay] zero” extra tax.
Apple’s European operations are based in Cork, Ireland, where the company operates the only Apple-owned manufacturing facility in the world, building Mac computers. Recently, Apple announced plans to hire an extra 1,000 employees in the country, as well as helping to fund Irish research toward ocean energy with a €1 million fund.